THINGS I'M LEARNING ABOUT HAVING A PUPPY

  1. 1.
    House training is a long, difficult slog.
    No matter how smart your pup is, he's going to pee in your house if you don't watch him like a hawk EVERY SINGLE MINUTE.
  2. 2.
    Puppies are a bit like having a baby that pees on the floor and doesn't wear diapers.
    I wasn't prepared for how worn out I would be just from monitoring him indoors so he doesn't pee on the floor.
  3. 3.
    Biting and mouthing.
    I've had clothes torn and my hands look like they've been attacked by a thorny bush. Praying he gets it soon not to do this.
  4. 4.
    Puppies are expensive.
    Shots and other veterinary care adds up quick.
  5. 5.
    They may be a lot of trouble, but they sure are cute.
  6. 6.
    Do not leave shoes where they can be reached by your puppy.
    Unless you want your expensive shoes to be destroyed.
  7. 7.
    In the same vein as #6, do not leave the tv remote where puppy can reach it.
    Or it will end up a chewed up mess.
  8. 8.
    Basically, if you don't want it chewed up, don't leave it where puppy can reach it.
  9. 9.
    Baby gates are your friend.
    Especially in today's open floor plan homes. You need to be able to block off a room so they can't get in (or out, as the case may be).
  10. 10.
    Those wire exercise pens are also your friend.
    You can use them to corral puppy in a room, or block off a section of a room to protect things that can't be moved. I'm currently using one to protect my wool rug in the dining room from the peeing bandit.
  11. 11.
    Kong toys are da bomb.
    Seriously, they're practically indestructible.
  12. 12.
    Food puzzles are fun for puppy.
    I use a Kong Wobbler to feed my little guy sometimes, and he loves it!
  13. 13.
    My puppy has the attention span of a gnat.
    The only thing he sticks with religiously is a chew bone.
  14. 14.
    He will drop anywhere and nap.
    But he prefers my lap.
  15. 15.
    Learn what is and isn't normal for your pup.
    Sunday night I noticed that Angus kept shaking his head and scratching at one ear. I looked in the ear and saw lots of dark wax buildup. Cleaned the ear and decided to check it again in the morning. It wasn't any better the next morning, so I took him to the vet. Turns out he had something called "puppy strangles", which is an autoimmune response with no known trigger. His ear was the obvious sign, but his lymph nodes were swollen too. I wouldn't have known if not for the head shaking.
  16. 16.
    Kennels/crates are your friend.
    They help teach bladder control. Puppy will do his best not to mess in his kennel/crate. They also give puppy a safe place that is "his".
  17. 17.
    At first glance, people will think you have a toddler due to all the toys scattered around.
    My living room is a constant mess.
  18. 18.
    Angus had never experienced people food before. His reaction was priceless.
    He's on medicine for the autoimmune thing and pill pockets are too big. So I bought some turkey hotdogs that I sliced up and hid his pill in. He didn't know what to do with it at first - he was tossing the bit of hotdog with the pill in it around and barking at it. But he did finally eat it (and his pill).
  19. 19.
    You can buy a ton of toys and he'll ignore them in favor of a stick in the yard.
    Or a pine cone. Mine is obsessed with them.
  20. 20.
    He can pass out for 20 minutes, wake up, and be raring to go.
    It's kind of amazing, actually.